Come See a Free Puppet Theater Show in Ocean City on Oct. 15

Photo: Hua Hua Zhang has performed twice at the Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Arts; she comes to Ocean City for free on Oct. 15.

When: Saturday, October 15 at 3 p.m.

Where: Chris Maloney Lecture Hall in Ocean City’s Library, 1735 Simpson Ave

The Ocean City Arts Center presents “East meets West,” a free puppet theater performance with world renowned puppeteer, Hua Hua Zhang. The show will be held on Saturday, October 15 at 3 p.m. in the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall at the Ocean City Free Public Library.

Experience astounding puppets that come alive through stories of China and America with Hua Hua Zhang. With stunning visuals and graceful movements, this program presents the ancient art form of Chinese Puppet Theater. Fusing movement and music found in Chinese Opera with Western technology, this exploration brings the complex role of the puppeteer as storyteller, technician, and visual artist to life.

Hua Hua Zhang graduated from the Beijing Performing Arts Academy where she was trained as a performer in the ancient art of Chinese puppetry. From 1974 to 1995 she toured nationally and internationally with the China Puppet Arts Troupe of Beijing. She received many awards for excellence in performance and direction. In the mid-90s Hua Hua worked on a U.S./China joint venture television production, The Adventures of Hua Hua and Morley. In 1996 she joined the international association of Puppet Artists (UNIMA: Union Internationale de la Marionnette) in Budapest, Hungary, and helped China become a UNIMA member.

In that same year, Hua Hua enrolled as a student in the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts, to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in Puppetry. She studied fine art design, sculpture, puppet construction, direction, production, and many forms of western performance. Hua Hua is the first Chinese national to have earned an MFA degree in Puppet Arts from this program. She also received the prestigious University of Connecticut Fine Arts Award for Excellence.

Hua Hua has appeared in several New York theaters, as well as in the Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Arts in New York City (twice). She has performed to audiences in China, the U.S.A., Canada, Belgium, France, England, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Brazil and Singapore. In addition to working in the theater, Hua Hua has been teaching puppet art at elementary, middle and secondary school and university levels. She is a teacher at the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School.

For further information, call (609) 399-7628. Check out the Ocean City Arts Center’s website, www.oceancityartscenter.org as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

This program is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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